This is a shame, because I was really looking forward to Taibbi’s Racket, which he envisioned as a modern-day Spy magazine. But it’s no wonder Taibbi bristled under these First Look guys:
Taibbi and other journalists who came to First Look believed they
were joining a free-wheeling, autonomous, and unstructured
institution. What they found instead was a confounding array of
rules, structures, and systems imposed by Omidyar and other First
Look managers on matters both trivial — which computer program to
use to internally communicate, mandatory regular company-wide
meetings, mandated use of a “responsibility assignment matrix”
called a “RASCI,” popular in business-school circles for managing
projects — as well as more substantive issues.
The lack of autonomous budgets, for instance, meant that in many
cases Omidyar was personally signing off on — and occasionally
objecting to — employee expense reports for taxi rides and office
supplies. Both Cook, The Intercept’s editor-in-chief, and Taibbi
chafed at what they regarded as onerous intrusions into their
You start talking about “mandatory responsibility assignment matrixes” and I start counting my lucky stars that I don’t have to deal with shit like that.